Monday, December 29, 2014

Happy New Year!!!!!!!

December 29, 2014

Hello my family!
It was so awesome to talk to you guys this week! You all looked beautiful! And the next thing you know we`ll be skyping again on Mother's Day! That made me feel good to hear that you think I am normal still and not some crazy person. I still feel normal so that`s good and I don`t feel different because of the mission, just better than I was before.
Ok so about the email from grandma... that is way funny and I`m so sad that I didn`t get it. Tell her to send it to me again! Maybe she has my email wrong and that`s why I didn`t get it and you did? But I`m looking forward to hearing about elderly people and the U.S. treasury... haha.
So everything is going good here. We found a family this week! They didn`t come to church on Sunday but I`m excited to teach them! Families are just the best!
Our diet starts again today. I am so excited for it too this time. I will never eat Santa`s cookies for him again. I really don`t know what the heck we were thinking, buying so many treats and thinking we could eat it all. We literally felt so sick for like 3 days. I think that was probably the stupidest thing I`ve ever tried to do in my life. We ended up taking more than half of all that stuff to the elders in the office! They were very pleased and told us to keep up the good work... haha. But now we are back to being healthy! We actually ran down to Viña today. It only look 30 minutes so it wasn`t even bad. But, it was fun so we`ll probably do that every pday now. We`d love to run back but I just don`t think that`ll work with our huge watermelons in hand. Maybe for week 4..... 
Also, I can`t believe that this week is New Years! Seriously 2014 just flew by. I can`t believe I`ve been in Chile for basically all of it! So in memory of 2014, I thought of 14 accomplishments slash events slash random things of my 2014 year......
1. Went through the temple for the first time! And was a worker there! Those are some of my most special memories. I can`t wait to work there again!
2. Left on my mission! 
3. Learned Spanish! And probably spoke it more than English this year!
4. Spent 30 hours in an airport. If I ever go to the Atlanta airport again it will be too soon!
5. Broke my front tooth with a fork!
6. Became OBSESSED with mineral water. It`s seriously SO good! 
7. Experienced a high earthquake per week ratio. It`s like weird to NOT have them!
8. Was eaten alive by fleas. My record is up to 36 bites at the same time..! 
9. Wore skirts EVERY DAY!!!
10. Had my first empanada and now I`m hooked!
11. Celebrated Christmas in the summer!
12. Received the most free ice cream slash other little treats (Being blonde in Chile does have it`s perks)!!!!
13. Have the hugest withdrawal from Mexican food. I need Mr. Taco!!!
14. Most importantly, this year I have solidified my testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ. There is no doubt in my mind that He lives and loves us. That even though life is hard, it doesn`t mean that God doesn`t exist or doesn`t care. I know that the principle object of the gospel is change. We are not stuck, or frozen as we are. We are not rocks. We are capable of becoming better and overcoming our weaknesses and Christ and His Atoning sacrifice are there to help us become better, and one day, even perfect.  I know that a 14 year old boy said a prayer one Spring day with a simple question and His answer changed the world. I also know that if an uneducated 14 year old boy can receive an answer to his prayer, you and I can and will absolutely receive the answer to ours. We just need to be humble enough to accept the answer and its form. The gospel is so amazing. I know that I didn`t need to come all the way down to Chile to really come to know these things for myself. God gives us all the tools we need. The scriptures, prayer, church. Boom! So simple. So beautiful.
I hope you guys have a great time in Utah this week! Shred the gnar for me out there, I know kk wishes she had as much steez as me on the snowboard..  ;)
I love you all!!   Talk to you next year!
Hermana Evans

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Feliz Navidad!!!!!!!!

December 22, 2014

Hola familia!!!!!  Feliz Navidad!!! I just have to say that I am so excited for Christmas!

This week was the same old same old. Hiking up hills. Burning thighs. But I am so glad to have arrived at the week we have been long waiting for!! CHRISTMAS! Ok so at first I was like kinda bummed, not going to lie... walking in to houses and seeing their Christmas trees because it was like ah man, I don`t get to have a tree, I don`t get to watch the movie, Elf, I don`t get to do all of the fun Christmas family things. But that only lasted a day because then I got my head on straight and was like wait a minute. The awesome thing about Christmas is that everyone is even more focused on Christ than they normally are. And as missionaries, we`re focused on Christ 24/ 7, so REALLY everyday is like Christmas time for us as missionaries! And that is way better than just a day in a month. And thinking of Christ and his birth and his life and atonement is definitely the best way to spread Christmas cheer, (the second best way is singing loud for all to hear :) )
But my companion and I have been planning our Christmas morning since the beginning of the cambio. So we started our diet right after Thanksgiving. And we`ve been doing awesome with it! Straight salads and turkey burgers (I`ve lost almost 10 pounds! yesss) BUT we`ve saved up our money good and we went to the American grocery super story place and we`ve bought everything thing wonderful and magical and sugary that anyone could dream of (and that`s available in Chile). Lets just say we have like 3 bags of Doritos, 4 tubs of ice cream and at least 11 sleaves of cookies. Not to mention the cinnamon rolls, cookies and brownies we will be baking. We added up all the calories we`ve eaten this month with the salads and everything and it was like 17,000. Then we added up all the calories of all the food we bought ( not including what we will be baking) and it`s like 51,000!! Hahahah we were dying. Don`t worry though. There is no way we are going to be able to eat everything. But I think it`s safe to say that we will be having a VERY merry Christmas indeed!!!
Have you guys seen the video the church made for Christmas?? It`s called, He is the Gift. IT`S AWESOME! Anyway we show it to everyone right now and I`ve been thinking about the message.  I absolutely love the part where it says that God so loved YOU that He sent His son. It`s so true. He really does love you. And me. And every single one of us. There is nothing that he is not willing to do to help us if we just go to Him. I`ve been thinking on what kind of gift I can give to Him and to my Savior this year. After all I mean it`s Jesus` birthday right?? He definitely deserves a gift. So I wanted to give him a baptism and we got it! But having that experience I think was way more another gift and blessing that He gave me. So I got to thinking again. The Savior is a very hard person to shop for. But then I just kind of realized something that I think I`ve always known anyway. Really the only thing we can give to the Creator of the world is the only thing He truly doesn`t have and that is our will. It`s the only uniquely personal thing that we can give Him. God gave us our agency so we can give Him our decisions. We can give Him our trust. We can give Him our love. And we can do that by keeping His commandments, through serving others, by being examples. It`s a hard gift to give, but it`s also the gift that will just keep giving.
I love my Savior so much. I`m so grateful for his birth and his life. For that beautiful night in Bethlehem, not only a baby was born, but it was also the birth of hope, joy, love, second and third chances. The birth of pages in white, the birth of everything lovely and of good report. I love that baby Jesus. I love that man on the cross. I love my Savior.
I hope that this season and EVERY season, Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter, we will always remember and use this great amazing, infinite gift from the most loving Heavenly Father. 
I love you all! Have the greatest, merriest Christmas!
Remember to leave some cookies for Santa!
Con todo mi amor,
Hermana Evans
Me and my companion

Me, of course!

another pic of me and my companion...we used
this as our Christmas picture!

Monday, December 15, 2014


December 15, 2014

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Even Mount Everest Has Its Top

December 8, 2014
Hey there family!!!
Wow! It sounds like you guys have had a super busy week! I wish we had Christmas parties here! It`s weird, Christmas just isn't a super big holiday thing here. No one is excited about it. Although all the tacky funny Santa sticker things that everyone has in their windows have finally came back into season.
I´m still enjoying everything here! My comp is awesome. But I do have to say that this week was hard. I don`t know what we were doing wrong or what, but it was just one of those weeks where no one would let us in their house or our investigadores that we do have weren't  home when we passed by or weren't answering their phones. So basically we walked. A lot. And then we walked some more!
This week we also watched the movie, '17 Miracles' with one of the recent converts. I don`t know if you guys have seen it, but I never had and it was SUPER great! Oh my gosh. The faith of those pioneers. I was like if you can walk through the snow for weeks and weeks, I can walk up and down hills in the sun. Actually, yesterday was a super hard day. No one wanted to listen to us and it was hot and we were tired and for some reason my scriptures in my bag seemed a lot heavier than normal.  It was like the hours converted into days. And, no one would let us in to sit down. We walked hills for hours. At  7pm we had an appointment at the top of the hill but of course she wasn't home. So we were like 'darn,' because we didn't want to have to walk back down the hill because that meant walking back up. (We live at the VERY top). But we had no other option because we`d already talked with everyone up top. So, we went down to another investigador which was home! Only he lives alone and is paralyzed from the waist down so we always teach him through the window which means standing! So then afterward we had to make the trek back up. I really have no clue how we did it. It made me think of the 17 Miracles movie and how they said that there were angels pushing their cart. I think there were angels pushing us up that hill too! It was crazy. I was just so grateful for the strength from some unseen force. It was a great experience though (although I`m sure my thighs would disagree) because even though it didn't seem like we were having success, we had the strength to push through and climb. It was just super cool to see how the Lord really does always bless us and is always there. Even when it seems like no one is listening and we could think like what are we doing wrong? I think it`s the same in life. We have days or maybe even weeks that just suck. And we're absolutely exhausted and we're just like what am I doing wrong? Why is this happening? And really we're not doing anything wrong. The week just sucks that`s all. But God loves us and he blesses us with the strength to endure and persevere. And then the next day or week is better. We just got to keep going one step at a time. At some point the hill has got to end right? Even Mount Everest has a point at the top where everything starts going down hill, you just got to get there.
Our Mount Everest top this week was that Luis, the little raisin of an old man, came to church!! Which means he can be baptized next week if he doesn't`t have more health complications! He was so cute. We called him an hour before church and he answered and said he was ready before the first ring even finished. I was a little worried because our chapel is two stories and the sacrament room is the whole upstairs and there`s no elevator or anything... but good ole Luis surprised me. That man is spry! He just dominated those stairs. So honestly the fact that he came to church made the walking the hills the rest of the week worth it. I´m so blessed!
So that was basically my week. But I love it here and I love the people and I love that Christmas is in 17 days! Life is good, even if the hills are steep.
Hope you all have a great week! Eat lots of Christmas cookies for me!!
Con todo el amor en mi corazón,
Hermana Evans

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Thank You!!!!!

December 1, 2014

Hola familia!!
I hope you all had a marvelous week and are all big and fat after eating lots of turkey and stuffing and everything wonderful! 
One thing I was really grateful for this year is to have an American compañera for Thanksgiving. So obviously we weren't going to be celebrating it this year but we decided that wasn't going to keep us from eating some good ole delicious green bean casserole! So we were actually able to miraculously find the ingredients and we made a little one for lunch. While it definitely wasn't as good as yours mom, it was good, and it still felt a little like Thanksgiving.
This week was awesome. We found this one grocery store place that is seriously almost like Target. I think we spent like a good hour and a half walking up and down the aisle because they have all the American brands of stuff. Ha ha ha it's kind of sad how excited a bagel can make us. But I've really learned that we don't know how good we got it in the States. 
This week I had my first intercambio as a leader and I was a little nervous about it just because I wanted to do a good job and really help the other hermana. I was with a hermana from Peru, in her area. The people here are a lot different from the people in my other sectors. I think it was because I've always been in more like countryside and here it's almost like La Jolla. The people are just really rude. But the best part was that with the one cita (appointment) they had, we walked in the house and the first thing their investigadora told us before she even sat down, was that she wanted to get baptized! It was awesome because the hermana had told me that she wasn't sure if she really wanted to do it and that she needed a confirmation of her testimony. But I guess she has a friend who she didn't know was a member, but after talking to her friend, she felt like it was the thing that she should do. I love member missionary work! I never realized how much power and influence we have as just members to help people come to Christ, but I know that our example is so important and that one person really can make a difference! So that was like a tender mercy from God after a day of many mean rejections. But the intercambio went well and I realized that I really have no need to be nervous and that the spirit really does guide and tells us what to do.
Also we found this couple that was super awesome this week! We taught them the Restoration and it was seriously like they were finishing our sentences! AND get this, THEY'RE MARRIED!!! I seriously feel like the Lord has been preparing them. It was so awesome, we were teaching about prophets and they're like well if God always sends prophets there should be one today. and we're like yeah!! there is!! And when we were talking about priesthood authority and the apostasy they were like so God needs to call another prophet and give him the authority and we're like just wait until we tell you about a boy named Joseph Smith! It was so awesome. Their problem is coming to church though. It was funny because Javier (the husband) was like ok even though this is the true church it's just hard to go to the chapel in the morning. I didn't even care in the moment that he was making up excuses because the words true church were just ringing in my years! It was awesome. They're going to read and pray and I know that when they receive an answer they'll be more motivated to come because really the only thing in their way is laziness.
The biggest miracle of all was yesterday when we walked into church we saw that Gabriela was there!! She came! I'm still not sure how she got her husband to let her come but she was there with her kids! See that's just what I love. The people that REALLY TRUELY have desires to be baptized and change really do follow through with the commitments. They come to church. And it's not for anything that we do as missionaries or people. The spirit touches their heart and they feel motivated to act because they want to align themselves more with Christ and His gospel. It`s so awesome! She'll for sure be baptized this month. I`m so happy for her!
Since this week was Thanksgiving I was thinking about all the things that I'm grateful for. And while I could easily make a long list from a ocean view to fresh made Chilean bread. The things I'm most thankful for is my Savior, Jesus Cristo, His gospel and my family. Over the past 10 months I have come to know the character of Jesus and His love in a way that I could have never known before. I know that He lives. I know that He loves us. I know that God has a plan maravilloso. I know that while this life is hard ( you wouldn't believe the situations and trials I've seen people here bear), but that the gospel gives us relief. It gives us an eternal perspective. It motivates us to push forward, it gives us hope in turmoil, it lifts hearts, spirits, and attitudes. I know that the family is forever. I know that this life is designed for us to have trial and hardships so we can become the people that God designed us to be. I'm grateful for this knowledge and for the comfort and confidence I have because of this. I'm grateful that I can be so far from home but never feel that far from home because I know that we're united in the gospel, because I'm teaching the same truths that you guys taught me. I'm grateful to be able to share this gospel and Christ's teachings. I'm grateful for my testimony. I'm grateful that I know the truth. I'm grateful for the answers of prayer that I've received. For the people who's lives I've seen changed. I'm grateful to be a missionary. It means everything to me. 
I'm grateful for you guys. For your constant support and love. Thank you. Gracias.
Con todo el amor en mi corazon (Seriously), 
Hermana Evans
Look what we found!!! Haven't seen these since I left the States!!!

Intercambios en Agua Santo, another part of Vina

Look at that City....Vina Del Mar!

Castle in Agua Santo

Another picture of the ocean in the distance!

Green Bean Casserole!

Celebrating Thanksgiving with a green bean casserole!!!

Me and my companion getting ready to dig in!

Ew....Gross.  But people actually do it here!

Check out those stairs! Don't worry, those are
in the Elders' sector...

Ghetto door!

Night lights

Andes mountains in the distance....

Pretty sure that dog was possessed!!!!....

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

I Love To "Sea" Chorrillos!!!!!!

November 24, 2014

Hola familia!!

Wow so this week was crazy! So much happened and I feel like it´s been 2 weeks since we last talked. It´s weird how time is always the same but sometimes it seems fast and sometimes like SUPER slow. But this week the time didn't go by slow because it was like bad and I was miserable. It was just like so much happened that it feels like it should be 2 weeks!
So Wednesday was cambios (transfers) and in the morning I got a call from Presidente Kahnlein. He´s sending me home. JUST KIDDING. He actually called me to tell me I'd been called to be a Hermana Líder Entrenadora. I don't know how to explain it but I guess it´s the hermana version of a zone leader, but not quite. So that´s what I´ll be for the rest of my mission. Which means that I changed areas too. So now I´m in a sector called Chorrillos which basically is a huge hill overlooking Viña. I'm seriously in heaven. We have the most beautiful view of the ocean from our house and basically on whatever spot of the hill, and we overlook the city of Viña and everything. So all day, everyday, we are just walking up and down hills overlooking the sea. It´s awesome!!! And my compañera is Hermana Avery who is just amazing. We´re like best friends. She´s from South Jordan, Utah, but grew up her whole life in Maryland so she says words like water funny. But honestly it´s so nice to finally be with an American after 3 months. Finally someone with the same culture!! I´m so glad to have someone to actually laugh with and quote Nacho Libre ( You have no clue how applicable so many of those quotes are ). I think I'm the happiest I've ever been in my whole life. And that´s saying something because I´ve had a pretty happy life. 
So this week we were teaching this little raisin of a old man, named Luis. He´s like 80 years old but looks like he´s about 100 and he had a baptism date for the 30th. We taught him all the basics and he was going to come to church with us. So we called him Sunday morning to make sure that he was up and getting ready and he told us that after the last lessons about temples that he didn´t believe in any of that stuff and that he never wants to come to church again and that he wants to return his Book of Mormon. It was really sad because he was so receptive. It's especially weird that it was temples that made him not want to get baptized instead of the word of wisdom or tithing or whatever, but like the greatest part of the whole gospel. But we went to his house anyway to talk with him and he didn't answer so we´re going to pass by again in a few days and see what happens (he has a little bit of dementia (spelling?) so I'm hoping that he´ll forget or something and be good to come to church next week). We're also teaching this lady Gabriela who is just precious. Her children got baptized a few months ago and are super awesome! The missionaries before were teaching her mom too but the mom just died two weeks ago, a week before her own baptism. So now Gabriela is even more motivated to come to church and be baptized because she knows how important it was for her mom. She´s even quitting smoking and everything to do it! She´s awesome. But the problem is her husband who doesn´t want them coming to church because he doesn´t want to be left alone ( I think that´s the dumbest thing I´ve ever heard) so we´re going to try to talk with him this week. 
We´ve also just been doing some killer contacting this week to find investigadores because those are the only two we have. We found this one guy, Javier, yesterday who I swear is one of the chosen ones. He´s so prepared! AND he´s married!!! You have no clue how rare it is that a 26 year old guy is married here. But he is! We seriously walked away going 'oh my gosh he´s so going to get baptized'! Ok so we might say that about everyone, but I have really great feelings about his one.
So I love all the pictures! You guys are babes! Although I´m slightly jealous that you went to Wicked without me..... And the temple lights are beautiful!!!!
I love the gospel. Everyday I know more and more that it´s true and that everyone needs the opportunity to hear it! I love sharing my testimony of the Book of Mormon and of Jesus Christ with people in the streets, on hills, in their homes, in cabs, in the metro, in whatever place and whatever time. I´m very grateful to have it in my life and that I get to share it in a place as beautiful as Viña. 
Con todo el amor en mi corazon, 
Hermana Ebans
(There´s a member here that refuses to say my name right, apparently it´s more Chilean this way)
Hmmmmm.....What would you order????

Saying Good-bye to Barbara and Bruno

Saying Good-bye to Raquel

The Vista!!!!

Views of my new area!!!!

More views!!!!

View from our window!!!!

What we eat when we cancel lunches!

Check out all those stairs!!!!!

Beautiful Vina!!!


Friday, November 21, 2014

Where All The Cool Kids Hang Out!!!

November 17, 2014

Hola familia,
I hope you all had a great week and that this email finds you good and well!! 
So on Tuesday we had an interesting experience. We were walking down the street and this guy in a truck pulls over next to us and stops us. He goes, Hey, where can I get one of those books?! He points at the Libro de Mormon in my hand. And we´re like This book?? El Libro de Mormon?? I was taken by surprise a little because the people usually just don´t ask for the book. (though, let´s be honest, people should be lining up to read this marvelous book!). And he was like yeah! I found a part of the book a while back, and I want to finish reading it! I want to know what happens. How can I get a copy of the book?? And so of course we´re like here take it! Actually I gave it to him for a price: A prayer. That after reading the book, if he would pray and ask God if the book is true. He said he´d pray. But that afterward he wanted to find us and for us to explain to him about the book. We said of course! And then we tried to take his address but he wouldn´t give it to us. I was like but how will we be able to explain the book to you if we don´t know where you live! And he was just like, no I will find you. And after asking him like 3 more times for his address he still wouldn´t give it to us. Then he gave us the homework to read psalms 146. (I really did read it. It´s very pretty.) And he drove away never to be seen again. At least for the week. We´ll see if he really does find us this next week...
Also we had a super amazing lesson this week with one of our investigadoras Priscila. I can´t remember if I´ve mentioned her yet but she always has like crazy dreams, about an angel giving her a white fruit. When we taught her about the restoration it was really hard to have the spirit testify because there was a lot of distraction with her little kids.  So we decided that for the next time we´d watch the video about the Restoration. I was praying the whole time that the little girl would behave good for the part of the first vision so she could feel the spirit testify in that moment. And she did! It was perfect! We asked her how she felt and she said really peaceful. We asked if she had prayed about the Book of Mormon and she said yes and that she believes it´s true! So then we invited her to be baptized and she said yes! Only the problem is that she works Sundays and can´t come to church. She´s trying to change her schedule though. We´re praying and fasting for her that she´ll be able to! But keep her in your prayers!! 
Also it was super cute. We were teaching Diego (the little boy who got baptized a few weeks ago) about the gospel of Jesus and we were playing this game we made and the game had a CTR (choose the right) sticker (well more accurately HLJ sticker) and we asked him if he knew what it meant and he was like Yeah! It´s the club for Jesus! hahahaha that made me laugh.  He´s a smart kid. 
Anyway those are some of this weeks´s highlights.... But know that I am happy and healthy and I have some pretty sick tan lines now too. I love this gospel. I love being a missionary. I know it´s true. And I know not because I was born into the church and I´m just following some tradition of my father´s. I know it´s true because I´ve tried the commandments and received the promised blessings. I´ve tried the promise at the end of the Book of Mormon and I´ve discovered for myself that it´s true. I know it´s true because I´ve seen it change the lives of others. I´ve seen the gospel and it´s glorious teachings work inside people and change them on the outside. I´ve seen it change lives. I´ve received answers to my prayers in ways that I can´t explain. I know that God lives. That He listens. That we are His children and that He shows us the way to return back to Him successfully. And I know that the way is a path of happiness and security. Of confidence and meaning. And He gives us the choice if we want to follow that path or not. I hope that we can always choose the right and be a member of Jesus´club--it´s where all the cool kids hang out. 
Family, I love you! Have a great week and choose the right!!
Con todo el amor en mi corazón,
Hermana Evans
This is Estephanie.  She lives with an inactive member of the church.
I taught her how to make cookies.  It's crazy, nobody here makes cookies like
we do.  It was funny, they didn't believe me that the balls of dough would
flatten out, so we made one pan with the balls and then the other pan where
she flattened them out like a cookie.  ha ha, guess who won?  Yep, that's
right, I did!  But then they claimed she did because her cookies were bigger!
So, we named it a tie!  ha ha!!!!

Awkward district photo after our activity last week!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

He Gave His All!!!!!

November 10, 2014

Hola familia!!!
The weeks continue to fly. I think Chile is on a different time loop or something. But I had another great week and I´m sure the next will be just as great!

So this week I had probably the most interesting lesson yet on my mission. So we're teaching this lady, Maria Angelica. She's like SUPER evangelist. She's even taken it upon herself to be a self appointed missionary. She just walks around all day, guided by God and talks with people on the street or in buses about Jesus and how they should open their heart up to Him. But the thing that worries her is she's not baptized and she knows that's what she's missing. So we invited her to Barbara's baptism and she came. So when we went to meet with her afterward, she told us that she doesn't know if she can change her religion. She was born into the Pentecostal and that's what she knows and doesn't know if she wants to change. We explained that the gospel isn't going to take anything from her beautiful relationship with God and that in fact, God wants to add to her knowledge and strengthen the relationship even more and that's why He sent us to her.  Then she told us that as she watched Barbara go in the water she felt a fire in her chest really strong, that she hadn't felt before. We explained that that was the Holy Ghost testifying to her that the baptism was done by the authority of God and something true. She was like 'yeah' and we could tell that she was thinking about it. I then asked her if she remembered when we taught her the steps to pray and how God would answer her prayer. We explained that through the Holy Ghost and feelings and peace and joy and tranquility that we can know and feel something is from God. We asked her that if she prayed if she believed God would tell her what to do and she said yes. So then we promised her that if she prayed with us right then and asked God if she should be baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints she would receive her answer. So we kneel down and she prays out loud. And she just starts crying. Like crying, crying. I´m talking waterfalls here. And then the praying gets even more crazy. She starts sending hysterical glorias a Dios. Hallelujah gloria a Dios. I didn't know what to do and I peeked over at my companion and she was like really confused too so we just kept quiet. Meanwhile I'm just praying that she'll receive an answer and accept a date to be baptized. Then she finally (after like 10 minutes, not even exaggerating) stops and quiets down and tells us that she feels the same fire in her chest. We tell her that's her answer! Now I'm sending glorias a Dios. And then she starts praying like evangelica gloria hallelujahs thanking God for her answer. She's crying hysterically and blowing kisses towards the heavens AND THEN she just starts laughing! And it's not even laughing it's more like cackling. I seriously thought that when she'd look at us her eyes were going to be red or something like some evil spirit possessed her. Luckily no red eyes. But then she looks at us and is like, but wait. Why do I have a headache now?? And we're like well you have been crying a lot.. She was freaking out that it was because maybe she shouldn't be baptized, but then reasoned that it was probably a devil trying to keep her from making the decision. She seemed content with that explanation so we just went with it. Long story short... she accepted a baptism date and promised to come to church Sunday. 2 days later we went back for our next lesson. She opens the door finally and the first thing she tells us is that she's not going to be baptized. We're like what are you talking about remember the fire in your chest?? Anyway after talking a little she let us come in and we read with her in the Book of Mormon, 2 nefi, chapter 31, when he's talking about baptism. After much talk she finally settled down and accepted her baptism date again and said she'd come to church. And then Saturday morning we got a phone call from her. She told me that she's been thinking it over and we shouldn't wait for her Sunday and she's not going to be baptized. When I tried to ask her what made her make this decision she hung up on me mid sentence. So we have no clue what happened. I´m sure her pastor or someone said something to her... But even though she's a little.. expressive with her faith, I felt really sad about her decision. It's like the people just don't know what they're turning down. So after the phone call we said a little prayer for her and continued on with our day.

I compared our experience with Maria Angelica with that of Barbara. Barbara received the feeling in her chest and followed through with it. And now has a beautiful testimony of the gospel and is a thousand times happier. I know that not everyone will accept the gospel but I know that for those who do, their lives are changed for the better. I also know that it's not a reflection on us or our testimonies if the people we talk with accept to continue or don't. Our duty as members of the church is to share and invite. The choices others make is a reflection of their own obedience, not ours. I feel so grateful for the opportunity I have just to share, it's not important what happens after. I know that our efforts have far more greater value to God than the results and so as it says at the end of my favorite novel ¨We beat on, boats against the current¨sharing the gospel with all that will hear (you're my best friend forever if you can name the book). 
Also as we were leaving another house this week, I noticed a wooden sign they had hanging on their door. It said ¨How can I give so little when He gave His all?¨ Anyway I really liked that. And it's true. I was meditating on that question and I know that I have to give my all. And that maybe my all really isn't a lot in the end. But, it's all I have. And I think that in the Bible the story about the widow and her mite, it's not the sum amount that matters to God. Like the widow, I'll give all my MIGHT, heart, mind, and strength and that has greater value to God than whatever other thing. I love this gospel. I love my mission. I love my Savior. 
Wishing you all another great week!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
con todo el amor en mi corazon,
Hermana Evans

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Dulce o Truco!!!

November 3, 2014

Hola familia!!

I seriously can't believe how fast this week went by! And how fast the month! How is it already November???
I hope you guys had a great Halloween!!!! They celebrate it here too but it's more a new thing and I guess every year it gets a little more popular! Holidays are like great days to find people because everyone is together. And we happened to be contacting in the evening so I decided to turn it into trick or treating because, why not? Only we were the ones with the REAL treat, the gospel of Jesus Christ!! So we'd go to the houses and we'd call out 'HALO' like normal and then when they answered I'd go 'dulce o truco'! Not everyone found it as funny as I thought it was, but we did find a new investigator out of it all!. And we have a lot of good futuros that we're going to pass by this week. And even though I'm a missionary this year I wasn't about to pass up the opportunity to dress up for Halloween either, so I had my companion switch name tags with me in the evening so this year I was an Argentinean!! haha. So all in all I'd say it was a pretty successful Halloween! Also I got a pretty wicked sweet tan line across my chest from my shoulder bag. I think this is the first Halloween that I´ve gotten a tan! Another treat!
This week we also had intercambios (exchanges with another missionary for the day) so I got to work with Hermana Lucas who's from Guatemala. She´s like the sweetest thing I´ve ever met and we had a lot of fun together! We had a lesson with this one investigadora that we found last week. It turns out she has like crazy dreams. Now usually the people here are like pretty superstitious about their dreams and the dreams are like super crazy weird and usually I walk away just thinking the person is crazy. But this lady has this dream that an angel comes to her dressed in a white robe and gives her this white fruit to eat and she said that it was suppose to be the most delicious fruit. And like it's the end of the world and everyone is going crazy but she's super calm and the angel tells her that she doesn't need to fear and she's like together with her family. I was like woah, so then we read the story in the Book of Mormon about Lehi's dream and explained to her what the white fruit meant in the dream-eternal life. Then she told us about this other dream she had where it's like the end of the world or something but her husband was always with her, he always stays being her husband. I mean I'm no fortune teller or ancient indian dream interpreter but the dreams have a lot of gospel symbolism to me.. We taught about the plan of salvation and invited her to be baptized. She said yes! But the problem is that she works Sundays.. BUT she doesn't want to and has been trying to switch schedules. I'm praying for a miracle. Also we found ourselves with a menos activa that we found in the street a few months ago. We've been teaching her and her daughter who isn't a member. After one lesson with them I left them the story to read in the Book of Mormon about the conversion of Alma the younger  and when he saw the angel and how he received forgiveness. So there´s two tellings of the story. One in  the book of Mosiah and one in the book of Alma, right? Well I wanted to leave the one in Alma where it's Alma telling his sons about his experience but I got them confused in my mind and left them the one in Mosiah. Turns out there was a scripture in the version of Mosiah that really touched the heart of Vilma that's not in the version of Alma. She told us that she felt like through this part that God was really talking to her. It amazes me how the spirit works. I think this was one of the only times that I can be right by being wrong.
But the work continues on here in good ole Limache. I feel really thankful to be a missionary at this time. I was thinking about it the other day and I really think that serving a mission has been the greatest choice I've ever made. I've learned so much and experienced so much and I really like the person that I am becoming thanks to learning and applying the gospel everyday in my life and helping others do the same.
I love you all so much! 
Read your scriptures and invite someone to church this week! You won´t regret it!
Con todo el amor en mi corazòn,
Hermana Evans
I've been on my mission for 9 months!!!!  Half way done!!!

Baptism of Barbara


Monday, October 27, 2014

Exactly How We Are!!!!!

October 27, 2015
Hola mi querida familia!!

I feel really content right now as I write you guys. I´m so glad you guys had a great weekend in Phoenix! Sydney´s going to be a killer missionary! South America better watch our for the Hermana Evans´haha. 
Anyway my week was super amazing! On Tuesday I finished the Libro de Mormón completely for the second time on my mission!!! We read it together as a mission and our president gives us themes to highlight throughout the book. This time we highlighted whenever it talked about heart, might, mind, and strength. It's interesting though because the translation to Spanish is: heart, SOUL, mind and strength. And then we could choose whatever theme we wanted for the last one so I chose 'testimony', but more especifically whenever someone said "I know"... Almost all the pages are entirely colored in my book!!! I loved really searching out these themes. I learned that we need all of these to really serve the Lord. I found the most about the heart. I also learned that it's through these things that not only the spirit works in us, but also the adversary. We really have to be careful of what we let in our heart and mind... How we use our strength and where is our might.  Another theme that stuck out really strongly to me was how much love God and Christ have for us. Like a thousand times it says, "except you shall repent". In the Book of Mormon we always have extremes right?? The best of the best and the absolutely worst of the worst. And God is always there with his arm of mercy extended to the people if they will just repent!  He is SO DARN willing to forgive and erase. We just have to humble ourselves and go to him. It's SO EASY and yet it's amazing at how hard it is for people to do that. And the thing that I can't even understand is that God is so willing to forgive and then bless and, in the next life give  kingdoms and principalities and all things glorious if we will just repent of our sins and come to Him. It seriously amazes me at how simple of a request it is that he asks of us. I was reading a conference talk by Tad R. Callister the other day and he was talking about the Book of Mormon and he said this about the book that I just loved because it is SO true: Would you like to have emblazoned on your soul an undeniable witness that the Savior descended beneath your sins and that there is no sin, no mortal plight outside the merciful reach of His Atonement -that for each of your struggles He has a remedy of superior healing power? Then read the Book of Mormon. So simple. So straightforward. So true. Read the Book Mormon. Just do it. 
We had two baptisms Saturday!!! Barbara. The girl with the cutest little baby that I told you guys about, that we just found on the street contacting got baptized!!! I can´t tell you how happy I was! Also Diego, this little boy who is 9 got baptized too! It was a beautiful day of white! I was thinking a lot about baptism and what it means. It's a big promise. We promise to always keep the commandments for all of our lives and to always remember God and Jesus Christ. But also God is making a promise with us. He promises to wash us clean and that we will always have His spirit to be with us to comfort us, to guide us, to protect us. I've also always found it interesting that for such a big promise, or covenant, the ordinance is so simple. The people dress in plain white clothes and they enter in the water. They say the short prayer and then they are submerged in the water and come out. For such a great eternal promise it takes like 2 seconds. I was thinking why isn't the ordinance more, I don't know, elaborate and glorious? But I realized that in the simplicity we can simply be focused on this promise. On ourselves and the Savior. There is nothing to distract from it. How wonderful is that?? Also I was thinking back to my baptism. I remember before people always telling me that I was going to feel so clean and good and wonderful after! So I had in my mind I was going to feel something really special and amazing as I came out of the water. But for me, I felt exactly the same. Maybe it was because at 8 years old I probably didn't understand the great importance of the baptism very well. I knew I loved Jesus and I wanted to follow Him. And maybe some people do feel the spirit really strongly during their baptism but I think that for many they feel like I felt, the same. And I remember thinking afterward, dang it. I didn´t feel anything good (I didn't feel anything bad either). And I was thinking  this yesterday too and I realized that that's another thing so great about baptism. We can receive this forgiveness of our sins in how we are now! I remember an Audrey Hepburn quote that said ¨Success is like reaching a really important birthday and realizing you're exactly the same¨ The beauty in baptism is that we are the same. That Christ accepts us right now. Exactly how we are. He isn't waiting for us to gain more knowledge, more experience, to be richer, or 3 sizes thinner. He wants us now. We can receive forgiveness now. We don´t need to change. He will help us with that in time. We just need to be willing. We need to be humble. We just need to come to him with a broken heart, contrite spirit. If we just go to Him and ask for forgiveness, He gives it. No hesitation. And He continues to be the same even years after our baptism. As we just repent and take the Sacrament to renew this promise, he continuously washes us clean, he continuously forgives us, he continuously strengthens us, and we can continuously grow. It´s never too late.  Baptism is so simple because really the gospel is simple. There are no distractions. There are no, like Pres. Uchtdorf said, "you must be this tall, or this righteous to enter signs."  IT¨S MARAVILLOSO!!!!! With every baptism I feel my heart growing and stretching with love for the people here and for this gospel. I know that there is no other way we can be saved and no other way we can be truly happy. It's just all good stuff. 
I love you guys so much and wish you another great week!!
Con todo el amor en mi corazón,
Hermana Evans
The English class I'm teaching

The most beautiful roses I've ever seen!

Guillermo, the most amazing gardener!

Our kitchen

The living room where we study

The bano

Where we sleep

Baptism of Diego! He's super crazy!

Me, Diego, my companion